Tuesday, July 31

Don't you wish you had been there?

I'm not sure I'd say that a wise woman eats, but in New York we definitely enjoyed the food! Here's some more take aways....

You can never carry too many snacks

Don’t weigh yourself before you go; don’t weigh yourself when you come home

Be sure to eat a slice of New York Pizza – and smile because two grumpy old men made it for you

$2 hot dogs on the corner of Times Square hit the spot

Chocolate chip pancakes with real whip cream are too good for words

Eat another slice of New York Pizza

Our special four-dish pasta platter must have been made by the Godfather and the mafia themselves

Gelato tastes like ice cream…kinda

Metro Diner - where everyone knows your name and the food is greasy goodness (i.e., huge burgers and fries served with two kinds of gravy)

Don’t pass up seconds on dessert – especially when it’s free

Barbara and Stacy

Monday, July 30

Wish you were here…

Barb and I spent the last five days in New Jersey and New York for a family wedding. Here are a few lessons learned and experiences we won't soon forget:

Traveling with a 91-year-old grandma in a wheelchair gets you to the front of the ticket line and security line at the airport

Soak up every moment - soon it will all be over

Riding in an NYC taxi is an unforgettable experience

Don’t look at the clock when you’re up late conversing with family

Smile when your 31-year-old son picks you up and swings you around the dance floor in his arms

Laughter and storytelling unites every family, everywhere

Have a schedule but flexibility is key

Buying your Broadway tickets at a discount one hour before the show gets you a great deal

If you find yourself in Harlem you’ve made a wrong turn

There are endless ways to experience NYC: on foot, by taxi, on the Subway, by train

Hold your valuables close or soon they’ll become someone else’s valuables

$5 umbrellas on the street corner are well worth the price when rain fills the sky

It doesn’t matter the size of your property – it’s all very expensive in NYC

Plan ahead – parking may take up to two hours…or better yet, take a taxi

Bring your walking shoes – that’s the best way to experience local life in NYC

NYC knows how to cram a lot of stuff into very little spaces

Delis don’t just sell deli food – they sell just about anything and everything

NYC is a melting pot of people, culture and language

Thursday, July 26

Happily Incompatible

I was deeply saddened to learn last month that Ruth Bell Graham passed away. I have deep respect for this woman - as a wife, mother and follower of God. She left a legacy that will be remembered.

As a wife I can learn so much from Ruth's humor, her commitment to her man, and her relationship with the Lord.
One of my favorite quotes is referenced in this article referring to Billy and Ruth's marriage. Enjoy the read!


Wednesday, July 25

A Quick Question

A reader of our blog asked for some tips on encouraging our husbands. One of the best tips I can pass along for this question is to "Be Happy"! I think most husbands can be quite content if they see that their wives are happy. I read an article written by a family therapist, Terrence Real. In it he says, "One of the open secrets that no one is addressing is that men are not that unhappy in their marriages. They're unhappy that their women are unhappy." That is a pretty powerful statement and something all wives should consider. The best way for me to encourage my husband is to remain positive and enthused with life myself. It may sound like a quick answer that doesn't really address the question, but I think it really gives the reader a tough assignment: Be Happy and make that a life-attitude. The Bible calls it Joy. It is a habit that will be contagious, but must first be very real in the person displaying this quality. Both husbands and wives have hard issues and tasks to take on on a daily basis. If your husband sees you take on your duties with enthusiasm and determination, he may learn from your attitude and over time be more positive in how he handles the rigors of life. Again, can I ask you readers to respond and let me know if you agree with Mr Real's statement?..."One of the open secrets that no one is addressing is that men are not that unhappy in their marriages. They are unhappy that their women are unhappy."

Tuesday, July 24

101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married

When Ryan and I were vacationing in California last fall we came across a cute little store by the beach with fun knick knacks and home decor. We picked up a book titled 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last. We flipped through it and it looked like the authors had some good things to share. We bought it, went down to the beach, sat by the ocean and took turns reading out loud. It is a sweet memory that we both treasure.

While no marriage book holds the 'secret' to making love last, I found some of their lessons insightful and right on target. Of the 101 things this married couple wished they had known when they got married, the first lesson they shared was: great relationships don't just happen; they are created.

The authors go on to say, "While compatibility and shared interests bring us together initially, they are not enough to keep us together over time."

I firmly believe that unless we are actively working toward a better, growing marriage we are naturally growing apart from our spouse. The busyness of life, the daily distractions we face and the stresses we encounter work against our relationships. We must make daily choices that are for the betterment of our spouses, the betterment of our marriages.

I am only six years into marriage. I know I have a lot to learn. I am so thankful for others who are willing to share what has worked and what hasn't worked for them. Sometimes I can learn from others, and sometimes I need to learn lessons on my own.

What lesson would you add to the list of 101 things YOU wish you knew when you got married? Share them with us - we'd love to hear!

And next time you are wandering through a store and come across a book on marriage, consider how it might spur you on toward creating a great relationship.

Monday, July 23

WOW! 36 Years!

My husband and I are celebrating our 36th year of marriage today, July 23! OK, so it seems like just yesterday that I was a blushing bride...time does go by so quickly. I think the message I would like to leave with you today is one of contentment. That is pretty amazing for me to say in light of the fact that on our 15th anniversary, I cried my eyes out walking the golf course with my husband, Dean. I lamented that fact that our kids were on the way to 'adulthood' (what was I thinking?...they were only 2, 7, and 10!!). I didn't see my on-going impact as a mom and my value as a wife. I would like to chalk that day up to 'pre-menopause hormonal imbalance', but I think it was really a loss of focus. I focused on being married 15 years and it was the number that intimated me. What had I achieved and what else was there left to do? It triggered in me a desire to make the most of each year and was another incentive to become a better mom and a loving wife. Today my kids ARE adults, they are out of the house and on their own. This was the day I was crying about 21 years ago, but today I am smiling, knowing that God has blessed me in so many ways. The number of the anniversary is irrelevant, the desire in your heart to continue on the hard road of marriage is what is important. Remember, 'marriage is hard...and a GOOD marriage is harder'. But hear it from this older woman...a GOOD marriage is definitely worth working toward. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if I didn't have a good marriage and I wouldn't have a good marriage if I wasn't the woman I am...so what comes first? I'll let you work that out in your relationship just like I had to work it out in mine!

Here's to everyone celebrating an anniversary this year. Continue to work toward a better marriage and a better YOU!

Friday, July 20

"A Good Laugh is Sunshine in a House"

That is a quote from Wm Makepeace Thackeray. Maybe his name prompted him to look into laughter as a benchmark of a healthy home (Makepeace!)

Did you know that it takes 74 muscles to frown and only 14 muscles to smile. I wish I had known that when I was younger. Just think of all the wrinkles I could have eliminated.

Ponder these words of e.e.cummings, "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."

Thursday, July 19

Can You Laugh at the Future?

That is one of the qualities of the woman of virtue in the Proverbs 31 passage. I like to think of Proverbs 31 as the 'lifetime achievement award' for women. It really seems like the woman in Prov 31 is the perfect woman, and a far cry from what most of us achieve in our lifetime! I think of it as a challenge to become like her, however. One of her qualities that I like best is that she is able to 'laugh at the future'. I was told when I was a young mom, "little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems." I found that to be true, and it was harder for me to 'laugh' at the future as my children grew. Each year brought more challenges and I formed habits that made me spiral into a 'worry-mode' even when there wasn't anything concrete to worry about. I had to work on practicing having a relaxed mental attitude and intentionally adding laughter to my day. It helped me handle the stress and I began establishing healthier habits. A wife and mom has a huge influence on her family, more that you realize when you are just starting out, but because of that, I challenge you to cultivate laughter into your everyday life. This will be a trait your children and your husband will remember and appreciate long after your kids are grown.

Wednesday, July 18


I believe humor is a necessity in marriage! I am blessed with a husband who has a good sense of humor. He has taught me a lot about laughter.

What's your situation? Do you need to teach your spouse about humor? Or are you the student who needs to take lessons?

I'm challenging myself to sit beside my husband on the couch and watch some of his favorite TV shows and laugh alongside him. I know he will appreciate it - especially because it's not something I would normally choose to do.

I challenge you to do the same. Or, consider picking out a comedy at the video store to watch this weekend. Pop some popcorn and laugh together - it is not only good for you physically but it is good for your relationship.

Choose humor - laughter - today!

Tuesday, July 17

What Do You Call A Blonde in an Institute for Higher Learning?

What Do You Call A Blonde in an Institute for Higher Learning?

(A Visitor!! )

Ha, Ha Ha! After the good stuff Stacy wrote last week and the serious topic, I thought I would add some levity to this blog! How are you doing with adding levity to your home?

Research has shown that laughing can help in:
*Lowering blood pressure
*Reducing stress hormones
*Increasing muscle flex
*Boosting immune function by raising levels of infection fighting T-cells
*Triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers (more potent than equivalent amounts of morphine!!)
*Producing a general sense of well-being
*Laughter is equivalent to mild exercise! It massages all the organs of the body says Dr James Walsh

The Bible said that long ago in Proverbs 17:22:
‘A cheerful heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit makes one sick’.

Be intentional in giving the medicine of laughter to those around you.

Monday, July 16

We want to hear from you!

The way this blogging thing works is that we write and you read.

At least we hope you are reading. We're honored if you're reading.

But we're not sure how many of you are out there reading our postings.

So.....if you are out there, we want to hear from you!

What do you want to hear about?
What topics are of interest to you?
What are your struggles?
What are your challenges as a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend?
What do you want to discuss as it relates to being a homemaker or wise woman?

Please comment and tell us what topics you would like to read about, learn how, or hear about...finances, raising kids, balancing life, sex, caring for your home, spending time with God, maintaining friendships, growing in your marriage, being a woman, etc.

It's so easy! Click on that little comment button next to my name and leave us a message.
You can even do it anonymously. We would love to hear from YOU!

Friday, July 13


After a heavy topic this week, one could get bogged down in feelings of sadness, hurt, discouragement, anger, confusion, grief and fear of the unknown.

What's to combat all those feelings? What's one to do with their emotions?

I keep coming back to one thing: hope.
Psalm 130:5 says it best, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”

I am reminded continually that we serve a God of hope. Hope for my future. Hope for your future. Hope in a God who is faithful....whatever the future might hold.

Dear friends,
May the God of hope fill each of you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, July 12

Shared experiences...

"Our sufferings may be hard to bear, but they teach us lessons which, in turn, equip us to help others." - Billy Graham

I have found that our experiences -- our lessons -- are meant to be shared. The books I have read are written by people who have walked this road. I thank God for their willingness to share their experiences and the lessons they learned along the way.

If this topic is one that you would like to read more about (because of your own personal experiences, or those of a friend) here are a list of books that I have appreciated on my journey:

Moments for Couples Who Long for Children by Ginger Garrett
Holding Onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie
Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart In The Midst Of Infertility by Jennifer Saake
The Ache for a Child by Debra Bridwell

Here is a very good article about miscarriage:
Mourning a Miscarriage

And here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved. We may not know why (we may never know why) but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives.” Chuck Swindoll

"God whispers to us in our happiness but shouts to us in our pain."
C. S. Lewis

“We have an unspoken expectation that a good God will bring only what we consider to be good things into our lives. We never expect him to allow and perhaps even bring difficulty into our lives. But he does. The world tells us to run from suffering, to avoid it at all costs, to cry out to heaven to take it away. Few of us would choose to suffer. Yet when we know that God has allowed suffering into our lives for a purpose, we can seek God in the midst of suffering. Accepting suffering drives us deeper in our devotion.
– Nancy Guthrie

“If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner." Beth Moore

Wednesday, July 11

Trying to understand

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace." –Helen Keller

Don't we all desire to understand? There are many things in life I wish I understood better. In relation to the topic this week, here are some things I wish I understood:

Why my friend only had 23 hours with her little boy Harrison before he died.
Why my friend got just one hour with her precious little girl Mia before she died.
Why my friend suffered two miscarriages just three months apart.
Why my friend is not able to get pregnant at all.
Why so many friends have lost little ones in their womb.
Why I miscarried one year ago and haven't been able to conceive since.

My human mind cannot comprehend how these things happen. I struggle. I wonder. I get angry. I get sad. I ask why?

We have a perfect God who knits us together in our mother's wombs (Psalm 139). So how are imperfect babies conceived? How are imperfect babies created? How are imperfect babies born?

I want to know. I want to understand.

A few months back during a night of worship at my church, I felt God telling me to let go. To surrender. I assumed that meant to let go of my desire for a baby. Surrender my longing to him.

I got mad because I thought, "This desire is from you God and now you are asking me to let it go? You gave me this desire!"

Then I realized that God wasn't asking me to let go of my desire for a baby, but rather to let go of my need to understand. To surrender my questions of "how come, if only and why?"

Isaiah 55:8 says “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

God is God and I am not. It does no good for me to try and understand his ways, his thoughts, his plans.

So, as a woman seeking to be wise, I'm slowing learning to change my prayer. Instead of praying for understanding, I'm praying that God would help me abandon my need to understand. That I would let go of my need to know. That I would have peace.

Because God does not promise understanding which bringeth peace. He promises
peace which transcends all understanding.

Tuesday, July 10

To my friends...

Today I want to dedicate this posting to friends and their stories.

To friends I know intimately, friends I've talked with, friends I've heard of, and friends I've never met.

To their stories of loss, grief, waiting. Stories of longing and unfulfilled dreams. Stories of hurting and hoping for the future.

As women, we need friends. Friends who understand our stories. I've discovered that I have friends who understand...and friends who don't. I love them all.

I came across a video called Empty Arms that describes some of my journey...so far.

Maybe it describes the journey of one of your friends and it will help you to better understand her. Maybe it describes your journey. If so, know that you are not alone. There are friends who understand.

Monday, July 9

A peek inside my heart

This week is a time of reflection for me. I'm reflecting on past events and the current state of my heart....

It is with a heavy heart that I remember our miscarriage in July 2006.
It is with a grateful heart that I consider the lessons I've learned in the past 365 days.
It is with a compassionate heart that I think of friends who have lost their own little ones.

It is with a confused heart that I trust in a God whose ways I cannot understand.
It is with a weary heart that I pray for strength for whatever lies ahead.
It is with a hope-filled heart that I pray my story might encourage someone else on their journey.

If you would like to hear our story, you can listen online here:
The Answer is No from 4/1/07. Our pastor speaks for about 15 minutes and then invites Ryan and I to share our story.

I would love to hear your story, your struggles, your journey. Please feel free to e-mail me at
stacyjmay@comcast.net or post a comment.

Friday, July 6

Technorati Profile

A Final Thought this 4th of July Weekend

If you have kids, make this a time to teach them to think beyond themselves. Help them to start believing in something bigger than themselves. A belief in God and a belief in our country needs to start at an early age to allow children to count their blessings and develop a focus outside of themselves. If you don't have kids, this is a good lesson to be learning yourself so when you do, you will be ready to go!
Check out these web sites and encourage your children (and yourself!) to write to the troops in Iraq. http://www.anysoldier.com/ http://www.opgratitude.com/
Make the most of having our soldiers in harm’s way this 4th of July by having your kids reach out and share their life with a soldier. Defending our country will become a real lesson for them and will touch a young soldier's life as well.
HAPPY 4th OF JULY, 2007
God Bless America

Thursday, July 5

Did You Know?

Did you know it was a woman who wrote America the Beautiful? Back in 1893, Katharine Lee Bates was a professor at Wellesley College and spent some time in Colorado teaching summer school. During a break from teaching, a group of teachers visited Pike’s Peak which has an elevation of 14,000 feet. She wrote,
“We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse…
It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind. When we left Colorado Springs the four stanzas were penciled in my notebook…. I do not remember paying heed to these verses until the second summer following, when I copied them out and sent them to The Congregationalist, where they first appeared in print July 4, 1895…”

Katharine was on vacation from her routine, but not on vacation from being inspired! As you celebrate this 4th of July weekend, or go on your vacation later this summer, write down your thoughts and wonders. Don’t discount the beauty of your thoughts and who knows, maybe we will find ourselves singing your praises some day.
“May God shed His grace on thee.”

Wednesday, July 4

7.4.07 - Freedom

Freedom is a sweet sweet word.

Having just been to a different country, I am especially aware of the freedom we are so fortunate to experience in the U.S.

So today I will praise God for freedom. The freedom to worship, to study my Bible, to tell others that there is a God who loves them, to attend my local church.

I will praise God that Christ has set me free.

I will praise God for the freedom to blog and write about the things I am passionate about.

I will praise God for those who have sacrificed so I can do these very things.

Tuesday, July 3


Here is an example of what homes in the village look like before we build new ones...


Psalm 127 says: Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

That verse kept running through my mind all week as we built homes. My prayer is that God's presence was felt in each of the five homes that we built in the Dominican. My hope is that I will never forget how privileged and honored I felt to be able to help build someone else's home. My desire is that I will look at the opportunity I have every day to build my own God-given home as a privilege and an honor.

Here are some after photos....

Monday, July 2

Building homes...literally!

The foundation of this blog is Proverbs 14:1, "A wise woman builds her home, but with her own hands a foolish one tears hers down."

In the Dominican Republic I had the opportunity to share this verse with a woman who has seven children. Her husband had left her and her home consisted of tin walls with a dirt floor. I told her how God could help her be a wise woman in her home.

Later that same day I found out that our team would be building her a new home...literally! How exciting to be able to share with her the words from Proverbs that have impacted my life so greatly. And then to put action behind my words by helping build her a new home.

I definitely needed wisdom to build her home: levels, saws, measuring, cutting, framing, doors, windows. Their homes are tiny - only two rooms - but as builders we still needed wisdom.

We are so blessed in the U.S. with our homes. Whether big or small, we have homes of beauty and convenience. Yet we still need God's help to be the kind of wise woman Proverbs 14 talks about. We need wisdom in how we treat and care for our husbands and families. We can so easily tear down our homes with foolish words or careless actions.

Take off your tool belt (or lay down your dish towel!), and ask God to show you how to build your home today!